“The Last Underrepresented Minority”

Here’s something I overlooked in my original entry on the Chronicle’s articles on the “Single vs. Married wars” One of the interviewees Alice Bach, a profesor at Case Western University called singles “the last underrepresented minority.” I remember finding her comments a little odd, but only to the degree that it seemed to trivialize the concept of minority status. After all, I’m a white, middle-class kid from the suburbs, so I found it a little odd for minority status to be conferred onto me.

Samantha Blackmon (no permalinks), an African-American (and single) professor at Purdue University, offers a much more impassioned (and significant) critique of this comment (also at the CHE’s “live colloquy“):

“As a single, African American woman I found the quote in the article on this topic referring to single people as the greatest underrepresented minority on campus down right insulting. I look around everyday and I see scores more single people than I do African Americans. This does not mean that being single is not an issue, but it does mean that people should not claim ‘minority’ status, especially in the superlative, when there is no merit to the claim. A better question may be what can we do to even the playing ground for actual minorities in the academy.”

Essentially, I do think that calling singles a “minority” trivializes the experiences of “traditional” minority groups in the academy. More later, perhaps, on the transcript of the live colloquy.

Via scribblingwoman, who has also collected several other comments on the singles vs. smug marrieds saga.

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